Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Player News

Date:

Western Kentucky redshirt senior QB Drew Eckels is the front runner to start the season opener against Wisconsin following Steven Duncan's suspension.

Duncan was banned handed a one-game suspension following his DUI charge. He and Eckels had been competing for the starting gig, but Duncan was considered the heavy front-runner. "Going into the summer conditioning... that would put (Eckels)... as the guy who will be taking the No. 1 reps," HC Mike Sanford said. "We will keep everything competitive as we always do, but it will allow Drew Eckels to get the reps with the (first team) offensively line and create some continuity going into the Wisconsin game."
Source: WBKO
May 3 - 6:45 PM

Western Kentucky redshirt sophomore QB Steven Duncan (DUI) has been suspended for the season-opener against Wisconsin

Duncan (6'3/235) was arrested in late April on suspicion of driving under the influence and was additionally charged with failure to produce insurance and failure to illuminate headlights. He's fighting it out with Drew Eckles, Davis Stanley and Graydon Kulick for the right to start for the Hilltoppers with Mike White now off to the NFL. Eckels was his biggest competition and is now expected to take the opening snaps versus the Badgers.
May 2 - 2:29 PM

Cowboys selected Western Kentucky QB Mike White with the No. 171 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

White (6’5/224) lost his starting job at South Florida, then transferred to succeed Brandon Doughty as the Hilltoppers’ starting quarterback for his final two seasons, completing 67% of his passes with a 63:15 TD-to-INT ratio, but seeing his yards per attempt dip from 10.5 as a junior to 7.5 as a senior. A star high school pitcher with NFL arm strength, White’s 2017 struggles could be attributed to a toxic combination of minimal mobility behind a swinging-gate WKU offensive line. Western Kentucky also switched coaching staffs that offseason. Ultimately a rich man’s Tom Savage, White does offer some developmental potential on arm talent alone.
Apr 28 - 3:28 PM

Bears selected Western Kentucky LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe with the No. 115 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Iyiegbuniwe (6’1/229) turned pro as a redshirt junior after starting two years for the Hilltoppers, tallying 22.5 career tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. Named first-team All-C-USA by the conference’s coaches in 2017, Iyiegbuniwe tested as an above-par 52nd-percentile athlete with 4.6-flat speed in Indy. Iyiegbuniwe is undersized without a clear position, but he has a run-and-chase weak-side linebacker skill set and can also rush the passer. He’ll likely focus on special teams initially.
Apr 28 - 12:58 PM

An AFC regional scout told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Western Kentucky QB Mike White is "tough to evaluate."

"I'm having a hard time with him because his protection was just so bad," the scout said. "Some of those sacks were his but sometimes he didn't even have a chance. I'm going to keep him alive because he's a talented passer and he's got size." White is seen as one of the more intriguing QBs that won't go in the first, and Zierlein notes his good drive accuracy and ability to put the ball through small windows. He also notes that he doesn't have quality athleticism, and he doesn't do a great job progressing through reads. This is obviously a redshirt prospect, but it's one who could develop into a starting QB in the right system. He should go off the board in the middle rounds.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 26 - 5:00 PM

Western Kentucky redshirt sophomore QB Steven Duncan was arrested for DUI on Sunday.

Duncan was pulled over under suspicion of Driving Under the Influence at 2:43 in the morning Eastern, and was also charged with failure to produce insurance and failure to illuminate his headlights. The sophomore is currently battling with Drew Eckles, Davis Shanley and Graydon Kulick to replace the graduated Mike White as starting quarterback for the Hilltoppers. There's no word yet on what disciplinary action will take place for Duncan.
Apr 23 - 7:26 PM

An NFL scout told Bob McGinn Football that Western Kentucky QB Mike White "[b]eautiful throwing motion."

"Throws a really tight spiral and a catchable ball," the scout explained, later cautioning that while White can sling the ball, the 6-foot-5, 224-pounder is far from the most fleet a-foot of quarterbacks and could run into issues when handling pressure at the pro level. Said the evaluator, "He’s a sleeper starter who, at worst, is a great backup." Rotoworld's Thor Nystrom is likewise high on White as a sleeper, ranking him as the No. 7 quarterback in the 2018 draft class. It's not outside the realm of possibility that the Western Kentucky spinner could hear his name called before the end of Day 2 -- especially if there's the expected run of quarterbacks early.
Apr 23 - 6:06 PM

Scout Inc's Steve Muench lists Western Kentucky TE Deon Yelder as a potential late-round sleeper.

Yelder was also listed by Rotoworld's Mark Lindquist as a potential late-round sleeper, and he seems to have some helium in the draft process. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound tight end had a breakout senior season with 52 catches for 688 yards and seven scores, and Muench notes that he has "has the frame to develop into an effective in-line blocker who can box out defenders underneath." He probably can't be an immediate contributor, but given a chance to develop, he could become an NFL contributor.
Source: ESPN
Apr 17 - 10:54 PM

Western Kentucky QB Mike White is visiting the Titans Monday.

The Titans absolutely could be in the backup quarterback market during draft weekend. They signed Blaine Gabbert during the offseason, but a long-term backup on a cheap deal is a sound plan. White will be a third-day selection.
Apr 16 - 8:32 AM

AN NFC regional scout told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Western Kentucky "has a chance to make it."

"I thought he looked pretty good at the NFLPA practices. He probably needs time on practice squad but he has a chance to make it," the scout told Zierlein. In his scouting report, Zierlein notes that Yelder (6'4/255) plays tough and makes the most of his size, and he makes adjustments on the football. He also notes he's too tight on his routes, and he "double catches" the football. Expect Yelder to either go in the late rounds or sign as an UDFA.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 13 - 7:16 PM

NFL Media Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah lists Western Kentucky LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe as a potential sleeper.

Tough name to spell, good player. Iyiegbuniwe was an All-Conference USA player during his junior and final year for the Hilltoppers, and scouts took notice. "He has the agility to match up in man coverage with tight ends and running backs," writes Jeremiah. "He's worthy of a late second- or early third-round selection." Sounds like the 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker will be off the board before the end of Day 2.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 9 - 10:14 PM

Western Kentucky Junior RB Quinton Baker has been removed from the team for violating team rules.

Baker reportedly "consistently" violated team rules, the main reason for his dismissal. He will be allowed to transfer to any school that isn't in Conference USA or a part of Western Kentucky's non-conference schedule in 2018. Baker was a member of the CUSA all-freshman team in 2016 after rushing for 542 yards and four touchdowns.
Source: WKU Herald
Apr 8 - 11:26 AM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline notes that Western Kentucky TE Deon Yelder "looked good in position drills, ran solid routes and caught the ball well" during Friday's pro day.

The pro day was apparently held outdoors in rather dreary conditions, but Yelder fought through it for a decent day's work. The tight end measured in at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds and went on to run the 40-yard dash around 4.72 seconds with recorded jumps of 33.5 inches (vertical) and 120 inches (broad). During Friday's show, he met with Detroit Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter, plus reps from the Vikings, Bills and Redskins. Pauline notes that he also has official predraft visits scheduled with the Chiefs and Titans. DraftScout.com believes his most optimistic projection would see him home with an NFL team at some point during the seventh round of next month's draft.
Mar 30 - 6:00 PM

Kentucky redshirt junior LB Eli Brown transferred to Western Kentucky as a graduate.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder started five games last season for the Wildcats. A former four-star recruit from the 2015 class, Brown has a strong chance to start for the Hilltoppers immediately.
Mar 25 - 12:56 PM

Football Scoop reports that Western Kentucky has promoted offensive GA Matt Mitchell to quarterbacks coach.

This past season was Mitchell's first with Western Kentucky. He had served as an analyst at Notre Dame for two years prior to linking up with the Hilltoppers. This promotion to quarterbacks coach will be his first as an on-field position coach at any level.
Mar 24 - 12:40 PM


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